• Elli’s bordel

Elli’s bordel _ 2010

Are you a whore or an escort girl?
Her response is cool and collected.
I am neither one nor the other, darling. I am a prostitute.”
Elli, otherwise known as Dimitra Elisavet Maria Kanellopoulou, is president
of S.E.P.E. (the Greek Union of Prostitutes).

It takes just one step further into the house after you come in through
the front door to escape the noise of Acharnon Street…
and to find yourself in a sea of red.
As you walk up the stairs, alone, all you hear is the sound of your own
breath as you breathe in and out.
The red décor around you at first was overwhelming – now, suddenly,
it has become almost familiar.
Once he’s checked you out, Spyros lets you enter.
Come in…
Barely any light. Strong smell of air freshener… music playing on the radio.

The brothel at 104A Acharnon Street is one of the oldest in Athens…
it’s had a licence since 1956… bearing the stamp of the “Kingdom of Greece”.
The procedure is simple… the rules are clear:
Money up front, use a condom and no kissing on the mouth.
An honest and dignified transaction… as Ellie calls it.
The white light over the front door never goes off…*
the security cameras never switch off. The only thing that does stop,
when you leave, is the burning need for sex. Out past the red décor…
nd back into the roar of Acharnon Street.

* Unlike in many countries, where brothels are indicated by a red light,
brothels in Athens are usually marked by a discreet white light
over the front door.